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Famous Like Me > Actor > T > Patrick Troughton

Profile of Patrick Troughton on Famous Like Me

Name: Patrick Troughton  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 25th March 1920
Place of Birth: Mill Hill, London, England, UK
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor

Patrick George Troughton (March 25, 1920–March 28, 1987) was a versatile and prolific British actor best known in his role as the second incarnation of the Doctor in the long running British sci-fi TV series Doctor Who, which he played from 1966 until 1969.

Troughton's notable film roles include Sir Andrew Ffoulkes in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1954), Phineas in Jason & the Argonauts (1963), Father Brennen in The Omen (1976), Melanthius in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977), and Cole Hawlings in a BBC TV dramatisation of the John Masefield children's book The Box of Delights (1984)

He also guest starred in the British comedy television series The Goodies in the episode "The Baddies", as well as in episodes of the British television series Survivors, Minder and The Persuaders! . In 1953 he became the first actor to play the famous folk hero Robin Hood on television, starring in six half-hour episodes broadcast from March 17 to April 21 on the BBC, and titled simply Robin Hood (Vahimagi, 42).

Doctor Who

In 1966, Doctor Who' producer Innes Lloyd decided to replace William Hartnell in the series' lead role. Lloyd later stated that Hartnell had approved of the choice, saying, "There's only one man in England who can take over, and that's Patrick Troughton" (Howe, Stammers and Walker, 68). Lloyd chose Troughton because of his extensive and versatile experience as a character actor. After he was cast, Troughton considered various ways to approach the role, to differentiate his portrayal from Hartnell's amiable-yet-tetchy patriarch. Troughton's early thoughts about how he might play the Doctor included a "tough sea captain" and a piratical figure in blackface and a turban. Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman suggested that the Doctor could be a "cosmic hobo" in the mold of Charlie Chaplin, and this was the interpretation eventually chosen (Howe, Stammers and Walker, 68–69).

During his time on the series, Troughton tended to shun publicity. He told one interviewer, "I think acting is magic. If I tell you all about myself it will spoil it" (Howe, Stammers and Walker, 72). Years later, he told another interviewer that his greatest concern was that too much publicity would limit his opportunities as a character actor after he left the role (KTEH interview).

Troughton was popular with both the production team and his co-stars. Producer Lloyd credited Troughton with a "leading actor's temperament. He was a father figure to the whole company and hence could embrace it and sweep it along with him." Troughton also gained a reputation on set as a practical joker (Howe, Stammers and Walker, 68, 74).

Regrettably, many of the early episodes in which Troughton appeared were disposed of by the BBC (a full list of Doctor Who episodes missing in the BBC Archives is availiable here). Troughton found Doctor Who's schedule (at this time, 40 to 44 episodes per season) grueling, and decided to leave the series in 1969, after three years in the role. This decision was also motivated in part by fear of typecasting (Howe, Stammers and Walker, 75; KTEH interview).

Troughton returned to Doctor Who three times after he originally left the programme. The first time was in The Three Doctors, a 1973 serial celebrating the programme's 10th anniversary. Ten years later, Troughton overcame some reluctance to reprise his role and agreed to appear in the 20th anniversary special The Five Doctors at the request of series producer John Nathan-Turner. He also agreed to attend Doctor Who conventions around the world with Nathan-Turner. Troughton enjoyed the return to the programme so much that he readily agreed to appear one more time as the Second Doctor with Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor in The Two Doctors (1985).

Later life and career

Two of Troughton's sons, David and Michael, are both well-known actors on stage and screen. Two of his grandchildren are also making names for themselves. Jim Troughton, plays professional cricket for Warwickshire and Sam Troughton is an up-and-coming actor, who appeared in Alien vs. Predator and the 2005 movie Spirit Trap with current Doctor Who star Billie Piper.

Patrick Troughton as Melanthius in the 1977 film Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger

Troughton's health was never entirely robust and later in his life he refused to accept his doctor's advice that he had developed a serious heart condition through overwork and stress. He suffered two major heart attacks in 1978 and 1984 which prevented him from working for several months. Following each of these attacks, his doctor's warnings were again ignored as Troughton committed himself to a heavy TV and film schedule. Troughton also continued to smoke heavily and declined to commit himself to any significant physical exercise despite his worsening health and his early death being predicted as an inevitable consequence by his doctors.

He featured in the 1974 11-part radio adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour. In 1986 he appeared in the ITV sitcom The Two of Us, and his final television appearance was as a guest star on Supergran.

On March 27, 1987, Troughton was a guest at the Magnum Opus Con II science fiction convention in Columbus, Georgia. Some attendees later said that Troughton looked clearly unwell at the time, although he appeared to be in good spirits throughout the day's panels and was looking forward to a belated birthday celebration which was planned for the coming Saturday evening and a screening of the Doctor Who story The Dominators, which Troughton had requested personally, on the Saturday afternoon.

Troughton suffered a final, fatal, heart attack at 7:25 AM the next day (March 28, 1987) just after he had ordered his breakfast from the hotel staff. According to the paramedics who were called, Troughton had died before he had fallen back onto his bed. He was 67 years old.

Preceded by:
William Hartnell
The Doctor
(Second Doctor)
Succeeded by:
Jon Pertwee

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Patrick Troughton